The Financial Services Department oversees the financial management and coordinates Information Technology functions for the District of Sooke. Departmental duties and functions include:
- Financial Planning
- Treasury and cash management
- Accounting and payroll
- Financial reporting and internal control
- Property Tax
- Business Licences and Commercial Vehicles
- Risk Management and Claims
- Municipal Budget
Release of Audit Findings
Audit Findings Reports to Council are prepared annually by the District of Sooke’s external auditors. The District’s auditors, KPMG, consider these reports confidential and deliver the findings to Council on a confidential basis. The District may release the information if it chooses. Reports released are available here.
In This Department
The Home Owner Grant is one of the property tax assistance programs offered by the province. The program began in 1957 to help homeowners reduce the amount of taxes they pay on their home. There are two categories of grants which may reduce a home owner’s property taxes:
Basic Grant of $570
To qualify for the Basic Grant you must:
- be the owner (or a spouse/relative of the deceased owner) of the property;
- be a permanent resident of British Columbia;
- occupy the building on the tax notice as your principal residence;
- have not applied for or received a home owner grant on any other property in the Province during the calendar year; and
- no other person can have received a home owner grant on the property for the calendar year.
Additional grant of $845
To qualify for the additional grant you must be:
- age 65 or over; or
- a person with disabilities or the spouse or relative of a person with a permanent disability (your physician must complete a “Certificate of Person with Disabilities and Property Owner” (Form B) available from the Property Tax Department); or
- in receipt of a disability allowance or benefit under the Disability Benefits Program Act (you must enclose a letter from the Ministry of Human Resources confirming your eligibility); or
- receiving an allowance under the War Veteran Allowance Act (Canada) or the Merchant Navy Veteran and Civilian War-related Benefits Act (Canada). Please note that War Disability Pensions do not apply.
The grant is reduced by $5 for each $1,000 of assessed value over $1,600,000. Home owners eligible for the basic grant must pay a minimum tax of $350 and home owners eligible for the additional grant must pay a minimum tax of $100.
Application for the Provincial Home Owner Grant may be made whether or not the current taxes are being paid at the same time. The application form for the grant is located on the front of the Tax Notice. Unclaimed Home Owner Grant after the property tax due date is also subjected to the 10% penalty. The home owner is still responsible for claiming the Home Owner Grant even if the property tax payment is being made by the owner’s financial institution.
Additional information may be obtained from the provincial Home Owner Grant Branch website or by phone at 250-387-0555.
Property taxes are due on Tuesday, July 2, 2019.
Property tax notices will be mailed to all property owners the last week of May or the first week of June. As of July 3, 2019, a 10% penalty will be applied to all outstanding current year property taxes.
To claim your Homeowners Grant online CLICK HERE.
The District of Sooke office is open Monday to Friday (excluding holidays) from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Cash, cheque and interact payments are accepted. The Municipal office will remain open until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday June 25th and Thursday, June 27th, 2019 for homeowners to make their tax payments. Please note that the Municipal office will be closed on Monday, July 1st for the Canada Day stat.
After Hours Drop-off:
A drop box is available for non-cash payments. It is conveniently located at the entrance to the municipal hall.
Payment by cheque:
Please make your cheque payable to the DISTRICT OF SOOKE. Cheques may be postdated to July 2, 2019. Dishonoured cheques constitute non-payment of taxes and will be subject to penalty, interest and a $35.00 service charge.
Payment by mail:
You may mail your cheque to 2205 Otter Point Road, Sooke, BC V9Z 1J2. Payments by mail must be received by 4:30 pm on July 2, 2019.
Payment at Financial Institution:
Pay online if your financial institution offers this service. Should you choose to use this option of payment, your Home Owner Grant application must be received by July 2, 2019 or prior to avoid penalty. Home Owner Grant applications can be completed online or delivered to the Municipal Hall before July 2, 2019 to avoid penalty.
Payment by Mortgage Company:
Your mortgage company will show on your tax notice and they will receive your tax information directly from the District of Sooke. If you are eligible for the home owner grant you are still required to submit your application directly to the District of Sooke on or before July 2, 2019 to avoid penalty.
Taxes in Arrears:
Taxes in arrears (balance from last calendar year) are subject to interest under Provincial legislation.
Taxes that are delinquent are subject to interest under Provincial Legislation. Properties with delinquent taxes will be sold by public auction on September 30, 2019 unless the delinquent taxes with interest are paid.
Interest on arrears and delinquent taxes is charged from January 1, 2019 to the date of payment. Please call the Municipal Hall at 250-642-1634 for the actual amount of interest owing.
You can pre-pay your 2020 property taxes on a monthly pre-authorized basis starting August 1, 2019. The Property Tax Pre-Authorized Payment Plan is an optional payment plan which provides an opportunity for taxpayers to make equal monthly payments for property taxes. Payments will be processed as 10 equal payments and collected on the first day of each month commencing in August of the year preceding the tax due date and ending in May of the year in which the taxes become due. An 11th payment will be withdrawn for any property taxes still owing on the due date in July.
To apply, complete and SIGN the PAWS application and return it with a VOID blank cheque to the following address:
District of Sooke
2205 Otter Point Rd
Sooke BC V9Z 1J2
Home Owner Grant
Even if you prepay your property taxes, property owners meeting the eligibility requirements for the Home Owner Grant must sign and complete the application form at the bottom of the tax notice and return it to the District of Sooke office before the penalty date, or claim your Home Owner Grant electronically at the District of Sooke’s website before the penalty date using your folio number and access code. Important:
- Home Owner Grant applications that are incomplete, unclaimed or late will result in a 10% penalty.
- All dishonoured payments will be subject to a $35.00 service charge.
- The District of Sooke may cancel enrolment in the Pre-Authorized Payment Plan if two payments are not honoured by the financial institution.
Requesting Changes? Written notification to the District of Sooke is required ten (10) days prior to the installment date for the following changes:
- Selling your property
- Changing your bank account, bank or branch
- Discontinuing participation from the Pre-Authorized Payment Plan
For further information or general inquiries, contact the District of Sooke Tax Department at 250-642-1634 or come by in person to 2205 Otter Point Rd.
A reminder that current property taxes unpaid after July 2, 2019 will be subject to a 10% penalty. Unpaid 2019 Property Taxes will start to accrue interest as of January 1st, 2020. Also, a reminder that December 31st, 2019 is the deadline to claim a retroactive Home Owner Grant for 2018.
Property Taxation is the most important single source of municipal revenue. Provincial legislation sets out very detailed regulation of municipal taxation. The amount of money to be raised through property taxes and the tax rates are set by Council, but the tax rates of the other agencies are determined by the relevant taxing agencies. For information on payment of property taxes CLICK HERE.
The District of Sooke collects taxes for both the municipality and a number of other governing bodies. Of the total property tax you pay, only 42% is applied directly to municipal services. The balance is collected on behalf of, and transferred to other taxing authorities. Included in the municipal portion of your taxes are services such as the Vancouver Regional Library Services and protective services including the RCMP and fire protection.
Each year, property tax notices will be mailed in late May or early June. If you have not received your property tax notice, please contact the Finance Department at 250-642-1634 before the due date; it is the responsibility of the property owner to pay property taxes by the due date in order to avoid a penalty, whether or not a bill was received. New owners who have not received a property tax notice are advised to contact the Finance Department.
Each year a council decides how much money it must raise through property taxes. This, together with the assessed value of the taxable property, determines the tax rate. Tax rates are expressed in “dollars per thousand”.
The value of property for tax purposes is determined by the BC Assessment Authority, which is established under Provincial legislation and is independent of the District of Sooke. Municipalities are not involved in determining assessed values. You can look-up your property assessment here.
The District of Sooke acts as the collection agency for school taxes. School taxes are paid to the Provincial government. The District of Sooke must pay the Province, even if the property owners do not pay their taxes. Municipalities have no control over the school tax rates. School tax rates are set by the Provincial government.
Home owners may be eligible to defer payment of property taxes under the Land Tax Deferment Program administered by the Province. To qualify for deferment, the home owner must be:
- living in your own house,
- age 55 or over;
- a widow or widower;
- a family with children under the age of 18; or
- a person with a disability who is receiving a disability allowance or benefit under the Disability Benefits Program Act.
There is an initial fee of $60 and a renewal fee of $10 charged by the Deferment Branch. Additional information may be obtained from the Tax Deferment Branch website or by phone at (250) 387-0555.
The District of Sooke will consider granting permissive tax exemptions under section 224 of the Community Charter to agencies within the District who financially require such exemptions in order to provide a service to the community and whose service results in an improvement to the quality of life within the community.
To provide guidance in the processing of applications for exemption from property taxes pursuant to section 224 of the Community Charter. Areas of concern are principally whether or not the District is indirectly subsidizing activities or facilities that are the responsibility of another government agency; whether the organization requires such exemptions; and whether the organizations in receipt of the tax exemptions are providing a benefit to the District of Sooke. A policy has been establish to provide general principles, which serves as a guide in evaluation of applications for exemption.
For more information, please review the following: Statutory and Permissive Tax Exemption Policy
An application must be submitted for each property: Application Form